« ZurückWeiter »
WILLIAM LISLE BOWLES.
WILLIAM LIsle Bowles, of an ancient family in comparison with those of Dr. Watts, and which are the county of Wilts, was born in the village of admirably calculated to answer the benevolent purKing's-Sutton, Northamptonshire - a parish of pose for which they are designed. which his father was vicar-on the 24th of Sep- Mr. Bowles some years ago attracted considerable tember, 1762. His mother was the daughter of attention by his controversy with Byron on the Dr. Richard Grey, chaplain to Nathaniel Crew, subject of the writings of Pope. He advanced cerBishop of Durham. The poet received his early tain opinions which went to show that he consieducation at Winchester school; and he rose to be dered him “no poet,” and that, according to the the senior boy. He was entered at Trinity Col-1" invariable principles” of poetry, the century of lege, Oxford, where he obtained the Chancellor's fame which had been accorded to the “ Essay on prize for a Latin poem, and where, in 1792, he took Man" was unmerited. Campbell opened the debis degree. On quitting the university he entered fence; and Byron stepped forward as a warm and into hcly orders, and was appointed to a curacy in somewhat angry advocate. A sort of literary warWiltshire ; soon afterwards he was preferred to a fare followed; and a host of pamphlets on both niving in Gloucestershire ; in 1803 he became a sides were rapidly issued. As in all such cases, prebend of Salisbury; and the Archbishop Moore the question remains precisely where it did. presented him with the rectory of Bremhill, Wilts, Bowles, however, though he failed in obtaining a where he has since constantly resided, -only now victory, and made, we imagine, few converts to and then visiting the metropolis,-enjoying the his “invariable principles,” manifested during the country and its peculiar sources of profitable de contest so much judgment and ability, that his light; performing with zeal and industry his paro- reputation as a critic was considerably enhanced. chial duties; and beloved by all who dwell within The poetry of Bowles has not attained a high or approach the happy neighbourhood of his resi-degree of popularity. He is appreciated more for dence.
the purity of his sentiments than for any loftiness The Sonnets of Bowles (his first publication) of thought or richness of fancy. He has never appeared in 1793. They were received with con- dealt with themes that “stir men's minds;" but siderable applause; and the writer, if he had ob-has satisfied himself with inculcating lessons of tained no other reward for his labours, would have sound morality, and has considered that to lead the found ample recompense in the fact that they heart to virtue is the chiefest duty of the Muse. contributed to form the taste and call forth the His style is, as Coleridge described it nearly fifty genius of Coleridge, whom they “ delighted and years ago, “tender yet manly;" and he has uninspired.” The author of "Christabel” speaks of doubtedly brought the accessories of harmonious himself as baving been withdrawn from several versification and graceful language to the aid of perilous errors “ by the genial influence of a style “ right thinking” and sound judgment. His poems of poetry, so tender, and yet so manly,—so natural seldom startle or astonish the reader: he does not and real, and yet so dignified and harmonious, as labour to probe the heart, and depict the more viothe Sonnets of Mr. Bowles.” He was not, how- lent passions of human kind; but he keeps an ever, satisfied with expressing in prose his sense “even tenor," and never disappoints or dissatisfies of obligation, but in poetry poured out his gratitude by attempting a higher flight than that which he to his first master in minstrel lore:
may safely venture. *My heart has thank'd thee, Bowles, for those soft strains,
The main point of his argument against Pope Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring will best exhibit his own character. He considers Of wild bees in the sunny showers of spring."
that from objects sublime or beautiful in themIn 1805 he published the “ Spirit of Discovery by selves, genius will prodnce more admirable creaSea." It is the longest of his productions, and is tions than it can from those which are comparaby some considered his best. The more recent of tively poor and insignificant. The topics upon his works is the « Little Villagers’ Verse Book ;" which Mr. Bowles has employed his pen are such a collection of hymns that will scarcely suffer by only as are naturally excellent.
A glen beneath a lonely spot of rest
Hung, starce discover'd, like an eagle's nest
Summer was in its prime: the parrot-flocks SCENE.- South America.
Darken'd the passing sunshine on the rocks ;
mies-Lautaro, his page, a native of Chili-ANSELMO, Amid the clear blue light, are wandering by ;
The humming-bird, along the myrtle bowers, Indians. — AttacaPAC, father of Lautaro - OLOLA, his With twinkling wing, is spinning o’er the flowers,
daughter, sister or Lautaro-CAUPOLICAN, chief of the The woodpecker is heard with busy bill, Indians--INDIAN WARRIORS.
The mock-bird singsmand all beside is still.
Lautaro; but as the Missionary acts so distinguished a As not to mar the deep tranquillity,
Through whose illumined spray and sprinkling
Shine to the adverse sun the broken rainbow bues. When o'er th’ Atlantic wild, rock'd by the blast, Sad Lusitania's exiled sovereign pass’d,
Checkering with partial shade the beams of noon, Reft of her pomp, from her paternal throne
And arching the gray rock with wild festoon,
Here, its gay net-work and fantastic twine,
The purple cogulf threads from pine to pine,
And oft, as the fresh airs of morning breathe, Sudden, methought, high-towering o'er the flood,
Dips its long tendrils in the stream beneath. Hesperian world! thy mighty Genius stood;
There, through the trunks, with moss and lichens Where spread, from cape to cape, from bay to bay, The sunshine darts its interrupted light,
white, Serenely blue, the vast Pacific lay; And the huge Cordilleras, to the skies,
And, 'mid the cedar's darksome boughs, allumes, With all their burning summits* seem'd to rise.
With instant touch, the Lori's scarlet plumes. Then the stern spirit spoke, and to his voice
So smiles the scene ;--but can its smiles impart The waves and woods replied—“ Mountains, re
Aught to console yon mourning warrior's heart? joice!
He heeds not now, when beautifully bright, Thou solitary sea, whose billows sweep
The humming-bird is circling in his sight; The margin of my forests, dark and deep,
Nor e'en, above his head, when air is still, Rejoice! the hour is come: the mortal blow,
Hears the green woodpecker's resounding bill That smote the golden shrines of Mexico,
But gazing on the rocks and mountain wild, In Europe is avenged! and thou, proud Spain,
Rock after rock, in glittering masses piled Now hostile hosts insult thy own domain ;
To the volcano's cone, that shoots so high Now fate, vindictive, rolls, with refluent flood,
Gray smoke whose column stains the cloudless sky, Back on thy shores the tide of human blood.
He cries, “O! if thy spirit yet be fled Think of my murder'd millions of the cries
To the pale kingdoms of the shadowy dead, That once I heard from all my kingdoms rise ;
In yonder tract of purest light above, Of famine's feeble plaint, of slavery's tear;
Dear long-lost object of a father's love,
Dost thon abide or like a shadow come,
Circling the scenes of thy remember'd home,
And passing with the breeze? or, in the beam And shouted, (may the sounds be bail'd by thee!)
Of evening, light the desert mountain stream?
Or at deep midnight are thine accents heard,
In the sad notes of that melodious bird, $
Which, as we listen with mysterious dread,
Brings tidings from our friends and fathers dead?
* The crysomela is a beautiful insect, of which the One day and part of night.
young women of Chili make necklaces.
† The parroi butterfly, peculiar to this part of America, Valley in the Andes-Old Indian warrior-Loss of his son
the largest and most brilliant of its kind-Pupilio peil. and daughter.
lacus. BENEATH aërial cliffs and glittering snows,
I A most beautiful climbing plant. The vine is of the The rush-roof of an aged warrior rose,
size of packthread: it climbs on the trees without atlach.
ing itself to them: when it reaches the top, it descends Chief of the mountain tribes : high overhead
perpendicularly; and as it continues to grow, it extend's The Andes, wild and desolate, were spread, itself from iree lo tree, until it offers to the eye & confused Where cold Sierras shot their icy spires,
tissue, exhibiting some resemblance to the rigging of a And Chillanf trail'd its smoke and smouldering fires. ship.-Molina.
6 “But because I cannot describe all the American
birds, which differ not a little from ours, not only in kind, * Range of volcanoes on the summits of the Andes. but also in variety of colour, as rose-colour, red, violet, + The natives of Chili, who were never subdued. white, ash-colour, purple, &c.; I will at length describe A volcano in Chili.
one, which the barbarians so observe and esteem, that
* Perhaps, beyond those summits, far away, Her ankles rung with shells, as unconfined,
So beautiful in youth, she bounded by.
Yet kindness sat upon her aspect bland, And think of these white rocks and torrent streain, The tamne alpaca* stood and lick'd her hand; Never to hear the summer cocoa wave,
She brought him gather'd moss, and loved to deck Or weep upon thy father's distant grave."
With flowery twine his tall and stately neck; Ye, who have waked, and listen'd with a tear, Whilst he with silent gratitude replies, When cries confused, and clangours rolld more And bends to her caress his large blue eyes. near;
These children danced together in the shade, With murmur'd prayer, when mercy stood aghast, Or stretch'd their hands to see the rainbow fade ; As war's black trump peal'd its terrific blast, Or sat and mock'd, with imitative glee, And o'er the wither'd earth the armed giant pass'd! The paroquet, that laugh'd from tree to tree ; Ye, who his track with terror have pursued, Or through the forest's wildest solitude, When some delightful land, all blood-imbrued, From glen to glen, the marmozet pursued; He swept; where silent is the champaign wide, And thought the light of parting day too short, That echoed to the pipe of yester-tide,
That call’d them, lingering, from their daily sport. Save, when far off, the moonlight hills prolong In that fair season of awakening life, The last deep echoes of his parting gong;
When dawning youth and childhood are at strife ; Nor aught is seen, in the deserted spot
When on the verge of thought gay boyhood stands Where trailed the smoke of many a peaceful cot, Tiptoe, with glistening eye and outspread hands ; save livid corpses that unburied lie,
With airy look, and form and footsteps light, And conflagrations, reeking to the sky ;
And glossy locks, and features berry-bright, Come listen, whilst the causes I relate
And eye like the young eaglet's, to the ray That bow'd the warrior to the storms of fate, Of noon, unblenching, as he sails away ; And left these smiling scenes forlorn and desolate. A brede of sea-shells on his bosom strung, In other days, when in his manly pride,
A small stone hatchet o'er his shoulders slung, Two children for a father's fondness vied, With slender lance, and feathers, blue and red, Oft they essay'd, in mimic strife, to wield
That, like the heron'st crest, waved on his head,His lance, or laughing peep'd behind his shield. Buoyant with hope, and airiness, and joy, Oft in the sun, or the magnolia's shade,
Lautaro was the loveliest Indian boy: Lightsome of heart as gay of look, they play'd, Taught by his sire, e'en now he drew the bow Brother and sister: she, along the dew,
Or track'd the jaguar on the morning snow ; Blithe as the squirrel of the forest, flew;
Startled the condor, on the craggy height; Blue rushes wreath'd her head; her dark brown Then silent sat, and mark'd its upward Aight, hair
Lessening in ether to a speck of white. Fell, gently lifted, on her bosom bare ;
But when th' impassion'd chieftain spoke of war Her necklace shone, of sparkling insects made, Smote his broad breast, or pointed to a scar,That flit, like specks of fire, from sun to shade : Spoke of the strangers of the distant main, Light was her form; a clasp of silver braced And the proud banners of insulting Spain,The azure-dyed ichella* round her waist;
Of the barb'd horse and iron horseman spoke,
And his red gods, that wrapt in rolling smoke, they will not only not hurt them, but suffer them not to Roard from the guns,—the boy, with still-drawn Arcape unrevenged who do them any wrong. It is of the breath, bigness of a pigeon, and of an ash-colour. The Tououpi. Hung on the wondrous tale, as mute as death ; nambaltii hear her more often in the night than in the Then raised his animated eyes, and cried, day, with a mournful voice; and believe ihat it is sent from their friends and kindred unto them, and also de.
“() let me perish by my father's side !" clareth good luck; and especially, that it encourageth Once, when the moon, o'er Chilian's cloudless and admonisheth them to behave themselves valiantly in height, the wars against their enemies. Besides, they verily Pour'd, far and wide, its soft and mildest light, think, that if they rightly observe these divinations, it
A predatory band of mailed men shall come to pass that they should vanquish their enetjes even in this life, and after death their souls should Burst on the stillness of the shelter'd glen, dy beyond the mountains to their ancestors, perpetually They shouted" death,” and shook their sabres high, to dance there.
That shone terrific to the moonlight sky: " I chanced once to lodge in a village, named Upec by Where'er they rode, the valley and the hill t- Frenchmen: there, in the night, I heard these birds, Echoed the shrieks of death, till all again was still. not singing, but making a lamentable noise. I saw the
The warrior, ere he sunk in slumber deep, barbarians most attentive, and being ignorant of the whole maller, reproved their folly. But when I smiled a little
Had kiss'd his son, soft-breathing in his sleep, uma a Frenchman standing by me, a certain old man, Where on a llama's skin he lay, and said, severely enough, restrained me with these words: 'Hold Placing his hand, with tears, upon his head, your peace, lest you hinder us who attentively hearken to the happy tidings of our ancestors. For as often as we hear these birds, so often also are we cheered, and our * The alpaca is perhaps the most beautiful, gentle, and strength receiveth increase.'"-Callender's Voyage. interesting of living animals: one was to be seen in Lon
* The ichella is a short cloak, of a greenish blue colour, don in 1812. of wool, fastened before with a silver buckle-Molina. † Ardea cristata.
“ Aërial nymphs !* that in the moonlight stray, “What tidings ?” with impatient look, he cried. 0, gentle spirits! here a while delay;
* Tidings of war,” the hurrying scout replied ; Bless, as ye pass unseen, my sleeping boy, Then the sharp pipe * with shriller summons bler, Till blithe he wakes to daylight and to joy. And held the blood-red arrow high in view. + If the Great Spirit will, in future days O’er the fall'n foe his batchet he shall raise, And, ʼmid a grateful nation's high applause,
“ Where speed the foes?" Avenge his violated country's cause!”
Now, nearer points of spears, and many a cone Of moving helmets, in the moonlight shone,
“ Along the southern main, As, clanking through the pass, the band of blood
“Have pass'd the vultures of accursed Spain." Sprung, like hyenas, from the secret wood.
“Ruin pursue them on the distant flood,
And be their deadly portion-blood for blood !”
When, round and red, the moon shall next arise, But never saw his darling child again.
The chiefs attend the midnight sacrifice Seven snows had fall’n, and seven green summers
In Encol's wood, where the great wizard dwells, pass'd,
Who wakes the dead man with his thrilling spells; Since here he heard that son's loved accents last.
Thee, Ulmen of the mountains, they command
Whilst in dread circle, round the sere-wood smoke, Oft as his painted feathers he unbound,
The mighty gods of vengeance they invoke; Or gazed upon his hatchet on the ground,
And call the spirits of their father's slain, Musing with deep despair, nor strove to speak,
To nerve their lifted arm, and curse devoted Spain.” Light she approach’d, and climb’d to reach his so spoke the scout of war;—and o'er the dew cheek,
Opward, along the craggy valley, few. Held with both hands his forehead, then her head
Then the stern warrior sung his song of deathDrew smiling back, and kiss'd the tear he shed.
And blew his conch, that all the glens beneath
Soon at his side three hundred warriors stood.
“Children, who for his country dares to die?” The warrior had forgot his country's woes; Three hundred brandish'd spears shone to the Forgot how many, impotent to save,
Their long lank hair hung wild: with clashing Never to see again the blessed morn
sound, Slaves in the lovely land where they were born; They smote their shields, and stamp'd upon the How many, at sad sunset, with a tear,
ground ! The distant roar of sullen cannons hear,
The eagle, from his unapproach'd retreat, Whilst evening seems, as dies the sound, to throw Scared at their cries, has left his craggy seat. A deadlier stillness on a nation's wo!
“Enough!” the warrior cried, “retire toSo the dark warrior, day succeeding day,
night:Wore in distemper'd thought the noons away; Let the same spirit fire us in the fight, And still, when weary evening came, he sigh’d, That the proud Spaniard, 'mid his guards, may know “My son, my son !” or, with emotion, cried, How dire it is to have one race his foe, “ When I descend to the cold grave alone,
One poor, brave race, to their loved country true, Who shall be there to mourn for me?--Not one!”+ Which all his glittering hosts shall ne'er subdue !"
The crimson orb of day, now westering, flung The mountain chief essay'd his club to wield, His beams, and o'er the vast Pacific hung; And shook the dust indignant from the shield. When from afar a shrilling sound was heard, Then spoke:And, hurrying o'er the dews, a scout appear’d.
“Thou! that with thy lingering light The starting warrior knew the piercing tones, Dost warm the world, till all is hush'd in night; The signal call of war, from buman bones.- I look upon thy parting beams, O sun !
• E'en thus my course is alınost rup.'
* Every warrior of Chili, according to Molina, has his * Their pipes of war are made of the bones of their attendant "nymph” or fairy-the belief of which is nearly enemies, who have been sacrificed. similar to the popular and poetical idea of those beings in + The way in which the warriors are summoned is Europe.-Meulen is the benevolent spirit.
something like the "running the cross" in Scotland,which + I have laken this line from the conclusion of the cele- is so beautifully described by Walter Scotl. The scouts brated speech of the old North American warrior, Logan. on this occasion bear an arrow bound with red fillets • Who is there to mourn for Logan? not one !"
#Ulmen is the same as casique, or chief.
“When thou dost hide thy head, as in the grave, Perhaps, c'en now thy spirit sees me stand And sink to glorious rest beneath the wave, A homeless stranger in my native land; Dost thou, majestic in repose, retire,
Perhaps, e’en now, along the moonlight sea, Below the deep, to unknown worlds of fire ? It bends from the blue cloud, remembering me. Yet though thou sinkest, awful, in the main, “ Land of my fathers, yet---() yet forgive, The shadowy moon comes forth, and all the train That with thy deadly enemies I live. Of stars, that shine with soft and silent light, The tenderest ties (it boots not to relate) Making so beautiful the brow of night.
Have bound me to their service, and their fate ;
Whate'er the struggles of this heart may be,
ARGUMENT Stern Guecubu.* angel of the dead,
The second day. Who laughest when the brave in pangs expire, Night-Spirit of the Andes-Valdivia-Laularo-MissionWhose dwelling is beneath the central fire
ary-The hermitage. of yonder burning mountain ; who hast pass'd The night was still, and clear-when, o'er the O'er my poor dwelling, and with one fell blast
snows, Scatter'd my summer leaves that cluster'd round, Andes ! thy melancholy spirit rose, And swept my fairest blossoms to the ground;
A shadow stern and sad: He stood alone, Angel of dire despair, O come not nigh,
Upon the topmost mountain's burnivg cone; Nor wave thy red wings o'er me where I lie; And whilst his eyes shone dim, through surging But thou, O mild and gentle spirit, stand,
smoke, Angel" of hope and peace, at my right hand,
Thus to the spirits of the fire he spoke :(When blood-drops stagnate on my brow) and “ Ye, who tread the hidden deeps, guide
Where the silent earthquake sleeps ; My pathless' voyage o'er the unknown tide,
Ye, who track the sulphurous tide, To seenes of endless joy--to that fair isle,
Or on hissing vapours ride,Where bowers of bliss and soft savannahs smile ;
Spirits, come! Where my forefathers ost the fight renew,
From worlds of subterraneous night; And Spain's black visionary steeds pursue ;
From fiery realms of lurid light; Where. ceased the struggles of all human pain,
From the ore's unfathom'd bed; I may be hold thee-thee-my son, again.”
From the lava's whirlpools red,-He spoke, and whilst at evening's glimmering
Spirits, come! close
On Chili's foes rush with vindictive sway, The distant mist, like the gray ocean, rose,
And sweep them from the light of living day! With patriot sorrows swelling at his breast,
Hark! heard ye not the ravenous brood ? He sunk upon a jignar's hide to rest.
They fap their wings; they scream for blood :'Twas night. Remote on Caracalla's bay,
On Peru's devoted shore Valdivia's army, hush'd in slumber, lay.
Their murderous beaks are red with gore: Around the liroits of the silent camp,
Hither, impatient for new prey, Alone was heard the steed's patrolling tramp
Th’insatiate vultures track their way! From line to line, whilst the fix'd centinel
Rise, Chili, rise! scatter the bands Proclaim'd the watch of midnight—"All is well!" That swept remote and peaceful lands! Valdivia dreamt of millions yet untold,
Let them perish! Vengeance cries-Villrica's gems, and El Dorado's gold !
Let them perish! Death replies. What different feelings, by the scene impress'd, Spirits, now your caves forsake ! Rose, in sad tumult, o'er Lautaro's breast!
Hark! ten thousand warriors wake! On the broad ocean, where the moonlight slept, Spirits, their high cause defend !-Thoughtfui he turn'd his waking eyes, and wept, From your caves ascend! ascend !!!-And shilst the thronging forms of memory start,
As thus the vast, terrific phantom spoke, Thus holds communion with his lonely heart:- The trembling mountain heaved with darker smoke; “Land of my fathers, still I tread your shore, Flashes of red and angry light appcard, And mourn the shade of hours that are no more; And moans and momentary shrieks were heard ; Whilst night-airs, like remember'd voices, sweep, The cavern'd deeps shouk through their vast proAnd murmur from the undulating deep.
found, Was it thy voice, my father ?-thou art dead- And Chimborazo's height rollid back the sound. The green rush waves on thy sorsaken bed.
With lifted arm, and towering stature high, Was it thy voice, my sister ?-gentle maid, And aspect frowning to the middle sky, Thou too, perhaps, in the dark cave art laid ; (Its misty form dilated in the wind,)
The phantom stood, -till, less and less defined, * They have their evil and good spirits. Guecubu is the Into thin air it faded from the sight, evil spirit of the Chilians,
Lost in the ambient haze of slow-returning light.